4.5 star rating: Recommended 43 Reviews

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  • Location:Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Duration:12 hours (approx.)

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown

Join a Doubtful Sound cruise from Queenstown and discover this alpine gem nestled in the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Traveling by coach, you’ll take a ferry across Lake Manapouri and cross over Wilmot Pass for your 3-hour catamaran cruise. You’ll be struck by the fiord’s vivid beauty as you search for dolphins, fur seals and penguins amid a dramatic landscape of soaring granite peaks and crystal-clear waters. 


  • 3-hour Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
  • Plenty of photo opportunities
  • Skipper provides live commentary
  • Hotel pickup and drop off from centrally located Queenstown hotels

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown

Start your South Island adventure to Doubtful Sound with pickup from your Queenstown hotel by coach. Relax during the journey to stunning Lake Manapouri, situated in the World Heritage–listed Fiordland National Park, and ride a ferry across its tranquil waters. You’ll then ascend the 2,198-foot-high (670-meter) Wilmot Pass, stopping en route for a photo op of Doubtful Sound, a ribbon of blue meandering between the Fiordland's alpine moss gardens and steep rainforest-laden walls.

Board a spacious catamaran at Deep Cove for your 3-hour cruise of Doubtful Sound. Ten times larger than Milford Sound, the pristine fiord boasts sun-drenched or mist-shrouded peaks where waterfalls cascade into the deep blue water below.

Keep an eye out for basking New Zealand fur seals, rare Fiordland penguins and bottlenose dolphins that often swim alongside the vessel as your skipper explains natural features of this extraordinary landscape. 

End with the return trip to Manapouri, where you’re transferred back to your Queenstown hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Such an awesome experience! It was a long day but flawlessly orchestrated. We were picked up by a van at our hotel and transported to a central meeting place where we boarded a very comfortable tour bus and met our driver/guide Dan. Dan was a wealth of knowledge on the drive to Lake Manapouri, and throughout the day. The 1.5 - 2 hour drive passed quickly listening to his humorous stories and comments and watching the beautiful countryside pass by. Once we arrived at Lake Manapouri we boarded a very nice boat that took us to the other side of the lake. This took about an hour. Coffee and tea was provided on the boat. Once on the other side we boarded another bus for a short distance then walked across a pedestrian bridge where the road had washed out and boarded another bus. This bus ride was about an hour, but we were now in a beautiful rainforest setting with several waterfalls along the way. We stopped for picture opportunities in route to Deep Cove, including an endangered kaka bird. Soon we made it to Deep Cove in Doubtful Sound and boarded the boat that would take us out into the sound and close to the Tasman Sea. The scenery was so spectacular, even on a misty overcast day. We would go back in a heart beat. The beauty and tranquility cannot be beat. It is simply amazing. It is so remote and untouched. A must see!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

We didn't get to go on the Doubtful Sound as the road was washed out that day due to heavy rains. We were able to get rescheduled the following day for Milford Sound and it was a wonderful journey! Viator does a great job making sure you have adequate stops and breaks. The drivers are great and it was a fabulous day!

P Ho
Hong Kong

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Enjoyed the true wilderness. Good orientation and transportation. Very friendly service.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Wonderful tour, the rain made it even better.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

A long day but excellent.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Well organised, well worth seeing, good coaches, good vessels, cheerfully witty drivers. Nothing to complain about, everything to praise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

A great day. From the moment we boarded the coach to our return to Frankton. The driver was a great guide and Eve who did the second bus trip was equally informative. Because the sun shone the whole day was amazing. Cannot find fault with any aspect of the trip.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

Wow - long day but really worth it - this tour was the best. Including the bouncing trip into the Tasman and Manapouri power station. Highly recommended.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

Very informative. Lots to see, especially when we found dolphins, penguins, and seals in the Sound. The 2-hour bus trip from Queenstown was also a good way to learn more about the area -- our driver for this part of the tour, Tracey, was very knowledgeable and answered any and all questions we had regarding the flora, fauna, and general lie of the land. The only thing the organisers couldn't fix was the weather, but it has rained for at least part of the trip every time I have ventured down to the south-west coast.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2014

Really enjoyed trip although rather a long day. We had beautiful weather so don't know if it would be a different experience if the weather was bad.

From USD $ 171.23

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Tour code: 2264RJ301


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